If Masters Security FC are feeling insecure, then Be Forward Wanders should be wandering about in town ahead of their respective continental assignments on Tuesday and Wednesday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
The mood in town is deflated in view of Masters’ and Wanderers’ disastrous first-leg outings to Luanda and Kinshasa in the Confederation Cup and Champions League, respectively.
The second legs are not about winning or losing but a struggle for a purpose for the Malawi representatives who gave it all away in the first legs they lost 5-0 and 4-0 to Angola’s Atletico Petroleos de Luanda and AS Vita from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are some wicked loud mouths who are suggesting that the away atrocities reflect the slump in domestic football.
But I beg to differ. Masters and Wanderers must have struggled to locate the target due to Portuguese and French language barriers.
I mean how did anyone in their right sense of medulla oblongata expect Wanderers to score when the pitch was demarcated in French?
In the same vein, it was unfair expecting Masters to master bom dia within a day and score past the goalkeeper of Petroloes.
After all, these trips were about learning and spending. And did I hear someone condemn Stanley Sanudi— the off-the-field man-of-the-match of the 2018 Champions League—for displaying ‘Umphwiyo’ extravagance with his cash when the Nomads could barely afford Frozy drinks in Kinshasa?
That is being ungrateful to the young man who, after failing to make it on the pitch, learnt how to produce ndombolo dance videos in Kinshasa and thought of sharing it on Facebook.
Sanudi is the only player who has showed us what he learnt in Kinshasa, and he deserves a pat on the back for putting his newly-acquired skills on show.
So what do Wanderers need in the second leg? A bit of aggression and streetwise tactics to stiffle Vita who should be coming to Lilongwe to see their brothers and sisters -for the Congolese have one foot in the first round.
I know that the red side of Blantyre has, instead of sympathising with their rivals, gone to town celebrating Wanderers’ away miseries.
But pouring scorn on the Lali Lubani Road side is pouring scorn on our land-locked country, for the Nomads are Malaw’s national league champions. They are, at the moment, our national team; so their struggles are our struggles.
Wanderers and Masters are representing Malawi, and it is for this reason that they should be encouraged to make home ground advantage count by trying to, at least, win. Qualification is already beyond the realms of possibility for both teams but in football, pride matters.
I suggest that Wanderers should tighten the loose bolts at the back and of course urge Sanudi to, for once, show maturity when defending against the free-scoring Vita.
Wanderers need to win this game so as to offer consolation to the heartbroken Nyerere.
For Masters, in case their defence might not be up to scratch, ordering security guards to man the goal-posts would not be a bad idea after all. Chimwemwe Kumkwawa needs security in Masters’ goal on Tuesday.
Masters and Wanderers deserve kudos for giving all those who preach that this is the year of harvest a sobering reminder that, with fall army worms and a dry spell amid us, a bumper harvest will, after all, not be possible.
There are still those who are debating on whether Masters rushed to the big-time of continental football but I feel that the idea itself was good. But certainly not the preparations.
At least Masters’ players have passports with an Angolan stamp. Wanderers and Masters deserve kudos for trying and failing, instead of failing to try.
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